Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Editing the Presentation Text
media, or multiple text boxes, you need to make adjustments directly on the slide in
Basic Slide Guidelines
Once you start placing objects on your slides, it’s easy to get carried away. How do you
know when enough is enough? That depends on what you’re creating. The cardinal rule
is to be sure that the end result works for your intended audience. The images, colors,
and fonts you use for a school presentation might be inappropriate for a corporate
boardroom, for example. Beyond that one overarching rule, it’s possible to work with
some more general guidelines.
When working with text, bigger is typically better. This is especially true for
presentations for which a projector will be used. In this case, you want to ensure that the person
sitting in the back row doesn’t have to squint. Look at the text sizes for bullet points in
one of the built-in themes, and you’ll see that they’re much bigger than body text in a
standard Word document.
Unfortunately, as text size increases, the amount of space on the slide decreases. As a
rule, keep slides focused and to the point to minimize the amount of text required. If
you plan to present your slide show live, you can and should use short, bulleted text
points that help the listener follow along; as the speaker, you can ill in the gaps and
avoid the dreaded “Oh no, he’s reading his slides” effect. If your presentation will run
unattended at a trade show or on the web, you need to be more creative. If the text is
too long, consider breaking it up by inserting a video or recorded narration. When in
doubt, split the text across two slides with some graphics to add visual interest. Your
audience will appreciate the effort.
Starting with an outline allows you to define each slide’s main point and see how it its
in the overall theme of your presentation before you get into your design work.
Outlines can also help you organize text so that each slide contributes to a consistent low,
with a similar number of bullets per slide and the same basic structure and tone.
If you simply don’t know where to start, you can get a little push from the templates
Microsoft offers at Office.com. One of our favorites is “Duarte’s Five Rules.” (To locate
this template, click File, click New, type five rules in the Office.com Templates box, and
click the Start Searching button. Not only is this a highly engaging, self-running
presentation, it offers useful tips on how you can create great presentations yourself. As a
bonus, it shows some pretty terrific animation effects that will inspire both novice and